Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor young writers: sharing my knowledge and experience, teaching them about the vital basics of craft and encouraging them to grow beyond their comfort zones and embrace the art of story. There’s no joy greater than creating your own tale, surrendering to the mysteries and metaphysics of storytelling; but there’s a unique pleasure to be found in helping others do the same: to see someone’s personal vision take shape, to watch their creative selves transform and grow. In recent years I’ve continued this mentoring in new forms, first as editor-in-chief of Ardden Entertainment, then as a freelance editor and, most recently, through the launching of my Imagination 101 writing workshops. Teaching the workshops has been a genuine delight. You can’t beat sitting in a conference room for an entire weekend, working intimately with aspiring writers: answering their questions, dissecting their ideas, enjoying the electric atmosphere generated by a group of enthusiastic, creative people. The workshops will continue—but I’ve also seen a need for a one-on-one mentoring program. Toward that end, I’ve joined with two partners to launch Creation Point Story Consultation. CPSC will provide anyone who’s interested with a chance to get feedback, analysis, hands-on editing and sincere encouragement as they build their imaginary worlds from the ground up. Perhaps you’ve got an idea for a comic book that you’ve been wanting to develop for years, or a half-written graphic novel, a first draft screenplay, even The Great American Novel. Creation Point Story offers you a chance to work with skilled mentors who will help you bring that work to the next level.
Joining me in this endeavor are Derek Ivan Webster and Cody DeMatteis. I
first met Derek about a decade back when he was head of the story
department at the Los Angeles based Acme Talent and Literary. His job
was to work with the screenwriters that the agency represented,
dissecting their scripts and offering insights and analysis to help the
writer’s vision manifest with more clarity and impact. I was impressed
with Derek from the start: his understanding of the elements that make a
great story was, and remains, powerful and impressive. Derek and I
have collaborated on several projects over the years—we’re working on a
novel at the moment—and we hatched the CPSC concept together as a way to
extend that collaboration. I first met Cody when he was born. Yes,
he’s my son (and, as such, you could say he was my first writing
student), but he’s also a highly skilled editor who’s worked in the
trenches at both Boom! Studios and Devil’s Due, shepherding story and
art through the entire creative process. (As a result, Cody knows more
about the day-to-day mechanics of producing comic books than I do.)
These days he works in the television business, on staff at Cartoon
Network’s hugely successful spinoff, Adult Swim. Cody’s got the kind of
mind that’s always working outside the box. His insights into story,
and life, are funny, deep, unique and unexpected. I’d want him as a
partner even if we weren’t related.
We work on an hourly basis, billed at $125.00 an hour for reading and discussing the material—and we ask for a minimum of two hours, paid in advance. (Less than that and we’d never have time to read the material or give you the kind of feedback you need. Also keep in mind that the longer the material, the more time we’ll require.) You can either receive written notes on your story or we can arrange a telephone or Skype talk to discuss it. If you've got a larger project—a mini-series, monthly comic book or graphic novel—that you'd like us to edit, we'll work out a fee-scale tailored to your specific project.
CPSC is offering a special deal new clients: book two hours of consulting time, paid in advance, and get the third hour free. If you're interested in our services, send an email to:
Maybe we’ll find ourselves working together soon.
"My script is ten times better thanks to JMD. His years of storytelling experience make him the perfect coach for writers. He was encouraging, motivating, and willing to share his own personal experiences. He doesn’t tell me 'how' to write. Instead, he selflessly offers helpful input and asks important questions that help strengthen the story, plot and characters."—Bret Eric Bernal
“Working with JM DeMatteis is a lifelong dream come true. His intense approach to writing will ensure that the story you tell is true to the source and to the soul.”—Onrie Kompan
“Using J.M.'s consultation service is a fantastic way for anyone seriously interested in comics or creative writing to step further into the craft. He offers invaluable feedback, honest constructive criticism, praise, and support, all while treating people not as wannabes, but as fellow creators. Learning from J.M. is an immensely rewarding process and his words will stick with you long after the session wraps.”—Erik Radvon
“When you work with a long-established writer, you worry that he'll just ‘overwrite’ your ideas with his own. J.M. does nothing of the sort. He works with your idea, finding ways to express it more fully. Suggestions are offered without pressure or insistence, and his observations are always sharp and often present more than one way to arrive at a solution.”—Brian McDonough
"I've been a fan of J M DeMatteis' writing since Kraven's Last Hunt, and was thrilled to work with him on the other side of the page. His across the board experience was relevant to every kind of story I wanted to tell—superhero, horror, short or epic—you name it, he's not only done it but done it right. And he's as passionately committed to your vision as his own. Whatever you want to say, JMD will help you find the quickest route from your heart to the page to the reader. He told me what worked and what didn't, and his instincts were always spot-on. The end result is something more than I ever imagined, precisely because it's what I'd always imagined: my Story."—David Walton
“J.M. was very helpful in guiding us toward better characters, plot development and dialogue. He asked lots of questions, which helped us come up with answers on our own. When we ran out of ideas, J.M. generously offered up great ideas that helped us see our creation in new ways. I would recommend J.M. for any story type.”—Adam Van Wyk